Hundreds rally in Paktia over elder’s assassination
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people on Monday took to the streets in southeastern Paktia province against the assassination of a tribal elder and accused local officials of negligence.
The tribal elder, Syed Ishaq, was killed two days ago along with his son and a bodyguard in Gardez by unknown gunmen.
Nearly 1,500 people staged a protest in Gardez, the provincial capital, against the killing. Carrying photos of the slain person, the protestors asked the government to arrest the killers and bring them to justice.
One of the protestors, a tribal elder, Sofi Habib, told Pajhwok Afghan News Syed Ishaq was not the only elder killed, but several tribal elders and traders had been murdered in the city before.
The local administration showed it negligence in arresting or punishing criminals, he said, warned if the government did not ensure people’s security, the residents of Paktia would be obliged to keep their own security.
Another tribal elder, Mohamamd Zahir Oryakhel, said security in the province was deteriorating with each passing day, with mysterious killings and abductions occurring. He said the officials concerned had been unable to prevent the incidents.
He wondered how a tribal elders was attacked inside the city and the killers managed to flee. “If the government doesn’t respond to our demands positively, we will continue our protests.”
The governor’s spokesman, Naqib Ahmad Atal, acknowledged security incidents had recently increased and said “we are seriously pursuing the murder of the tribal elder and have appointed a commission to investigate it.”
If proved during the investigation that security officials had committed negligence in arresting the perpetrators, they would be referred to judiciary departments, he said.
The slain tribal elder was a member of the provincial peace committee and leader of the Shia sect in Gardez City.
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